The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

When we think about diversity, we think about factors such as race, gender, age, cultural background and many more. But diversity is about far more than hiring people to fit inside the right age groups or make the work statistics for gender equality look good.

Hiring people from different backgrounds, different ages and of different genders, open an abundance of opportunities for your organisation to grow in ways that you could not even begin to understand.

Cultural Training Image 1But how often do we do that? How often do we decide on what we believe to be the ideal person and then seek someone who fits that ideal? But our ideals are based around biases, and these biases cloud our judgements. So what is the solution?

Select from as varied a background as possible and then listen to the new ideas, get comfortable with opposing views, and welcome difference. The benefits are enormous, as we will see now.

Different Perspectives Contribute to the Increase in Productivity

One of the most significant benefits that have been noticed in diverse working environments is the increase in productivity of a company.

Why is this?

Well, great minds may indeed think alike, but it turns out they perform even better when they think differently. It has been shown that brainstorming sessions turn out to be far more efficient and productive in diverse teams.

People with diverse backgrounds, experience and nationalities tend to have different perspectives; therefore, they solve problems differently. And that’s what brainstorming is all about: getting as many different, crazy and creative ideas as possible, without judging or trying to anticipate their success rates.

For example, the Portuguese girl brings the temperament and tends to have a rather intuitive, spontaneous approach to the problem-solving.

The German guy likes to check everything twice and is somewhat cautious when speaking his mind, communicating ideas and especially, when making choices.

When conducting brainstorming sessions, we frequently look at each other surprised or even shocked. Our takes on the best solution can be as different as earth and sky! But that is the whole purpose of a brain storming session, and this is where we get the best results. Try asking a group from the same background, of the same age group and gender to solve a problem creatively and see what happens!Training different cultures

We share our completely different perspectives; these add up to a complete picture and frequently, we reach phenomenal results.

On another note, diversity in leadership within a firm allows managers to bring in new skills and methods for achieving unity within teams.

We all know that there is not just one or one “best” leadership model. Leadership styles must be adapted to cater for the different perspectives, values and beliefs, but any manager who can succeed in this environment has achieved outstanding skill sets.

Different styles and methods can be equally successful depending on the specifics of a team or concrete circumstances of the case.

Finally, workplace diversity increases employee morale and causes employees to want to be more productive and work more efficiently.

Again, this too is quite logical.

People are more eager to achieve and contribute if they feel like part of a particlar environment.
In inclusive environments, they feel appreciated, create a more personal attachment to the company and start perceiving company’s success as their own.

More Creativity / Innovation

And this is all about different perspectives. Different minds, viewpoints, backgrounds.

Think of a diverse workplace as a vast pool of engaging minds thinking different thoughts, seeing and hearing things differently.

In an ideal case, this variety should not grow conflicts but discussions, should not result in right and wrong answers but ideas and possibilities.

In an ideal case, diversity results in blossoming creativity.

If the environment is inclusive, people are respectful towards mutual differences.

Employees feel comfortable sharing their views and ideas, even if these are entirely different from those of the majority. In an environment where everyone sees and thinks differently, there cannot be only one right or satisfactory answer.

There can only be an answer best suited to a particular situation. In this kind of environment, the chosen solution will most probably be chosen in a very objective manner since all opinions will be taken into account.

This kind of environment, unlimited by “right” answers, is a perfect environment for innovative ideas and progress.
Think about it: All innovative ideas are the result of individuals thinking outside the box.

A diverse working environment does not accept boxes of any kind. Boxes are a destroyer of inclusivity, and they go against the celebration of mutual differences.

Without “boxes”, categorizations, prejudices, judgments; communication, sharing and testing of unconventional ideas becomes a lot easier and fantastic results are bound to happen.